Canada, Mexico and the United States remain fully committed to continue working toward the common goal of achieving the highest level of safety for consumers throughout North America and promoting a global culture of safety.
On September 10-11, 2013, the second North America Summit on Consumer Product Safety convened in Ottawa, Canada. Regulators from Health Canada, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (U.S. CPSC), the Federal Consumer Protection Agency of Mexico (Profeco), and General Direction of Standards of Mexico (DGN), expressed their ongoing commitment to improving consumer product safety, discussed future opportunities to share knowledge, and identified joint activities in product safety. The regulators also committed to build upon the important achievements made since the 2011 Summit. The achievements include exchange of technical information through regular teleconference calls, partnering in three joint outreach campaigns on toy safety and poison prevention to raise consumers’ awareness on consumer product safety, as well as the completion of the first coordinated trilateral recall which was an important step toward increased collaboration for joint bilateral and trilateral recalls.
Addressing consumer product safety in the 21st century has presented new challenges to regulators. Innovation and globalization are changing the range of products entering the marketplace and the supply chain that delivers products to North America. Canada, the United States, and Mexico recognize that trilateral cooperation is essential, especially given the numerous entry points for consumer products across our shared borders.
With the current economic climate and an increased need to demonstrate efficient use of resources, regulators need to be both dynamic and targeted in trilateral activities. This means focusing on areas of mutual interest and concern, and identifying common priorities that will protect the health and safety of the public all while respecting the sovereignty and domestic laws of each participating country.
In the spirit of cooperation and in demonstrating shared commitment to consumer product safety, it is viewed that:
- Cooperation improves the effectiveness of addressing common challenges presented by the increased international trade and steady flow of consumer products among our jurisdictions. Enhanced coordination on product safety among regulatory and customs authorities in North America, as well as cooperation among standards development organizations, is extremely important.
- Consumers have more options for acquiring consumer productsthan ever before as a result of increasing internet connectivity. The upward trend in online shopping demonstrates the need for regulators to work together, share best practices to help improve the safety of products sold online, and taking enforcement action when necessary.
- To meet the challenges to product safety stemming from globalization, North American regulators should continue to improve mechanisms for sharing information about product hazards in common markets. The significant expansion of consumer product supply chains requires countries to share import and market surveillance experience and data to the extent permitted by respective laws and regulations.
- Timely communication of product safety information helps achieve mutual goals. Sharing information on regulatory developments, compliance and enforcement activities, surveillance data, and evidence of emerging hazards is vital in reaching common goals.
North America Cooperative Engagement Framework on Consumer Product Safety (2013 – 2017)
As a result of shared goals and commitment to consumer product safety, an updated Cooperative Engagement Framework has been developed to guide the overarching trilateral activities over the next four years between Health Canada, the U.S. CPSC, Profeco and DGN.
Regulatory staff from the three jurisdictions will continue to engage bilaterally or trilaterally, as appropriate, in the following areas:
- Increase awareness and understanding of the flow of consumer products within North America in the context of the global market.
- Facilitate and provide opportunities for regulators in North America to enhance knowledge and expertise on consumer product safety.
- Enhance cooperation on training and outreach within North America:
- Promote consumer awareness on the safe use of consumer products.
- Conduct training and outreach activities for industry.
- Enhance and maintain on-going communication, cooperation and information exchange between North American regulators, including consultation on proposed regulations and voluntary standards.
In order to meet the objectives of the Framework, a two-year work plan will be developed within six months to lay out the specific activities that the North American partners intend to undertake.
The Cooperative Engagement Framework demonstrates our continued commitment and efforts in strengthening consumer product safety in North America. While the level, intensity, and mechanisms of cooperative engagement outlined above will be subject to domestic priorities and the availability of resources, the three jurisdictions are committed to enhancing our engagement and accelerating progress for the benefit of North American consumers.